Luke reviews the DMA’s as they return to Glasgow, reflecting on how the band and the Barrowlands have changed in recent years.
It’s the night of Halloween, and the Barras is full of costumes. Among witches and wizards are blokes clad in pretty green, cosplaying as Liam Gallagher’s love child on the way to Manuka on a Saturday night. The occasion? A sold-out show from the DMA’s.
The Australian three-piece rock band has a number one record in Scotland, and recently released a new single – Everybody’s Saying Thursday is the Weekend – ahead of their fourth studio album. We remained in anticipation of that, though, as the night kicked off with fellow Aussie rockers Pacific Avenue as support. Self-described as blending classic rock with influence from the Beatles and The Rolling Stones with a modern indie sound, they were a great opener. After performing a set of their own tunes old and new, with Leaving for London being a particular highlight, they surprised the crowd with a rendition of Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars, bringing great energy to an otherwise mundane track.
After an interlude filled with chants of “And we’ve got Mcginn” and “Fuck the tories”, the DMA’s finally graced the stage. Opening with their 2016 single Timeless, they then moved on to a perfect blend of songs from their three released albums, and even treated us to an unreleased track from their upcoming album Olympia.
This was my third time seeing the band and what stuck out most was the energy that the two new guitarists brought to the live performance. Previously, their sets remained very much one-note, but this new arrangement allowed for variation in pace and a far better overall show. While the acoustics were not perfect, with some feedback and other parts being not as tight as I expected for a band of their stature, the crowd’s energy ensured that this didn’t take away from a good performance. The set finished with a four-song encore, starting with Step Up The Morphine, then going to higher intensity tracks Feels like 37 and Lay Down, before finally culminating in their acoustic cover of Cher’s Believe: a triumphant ending.
A lot has changed since I first visited the Barras as a fresher. It was to see the Libertines, and while the room back then was filled with the residual smoke of Sterling Duals, now you are more likely to be hit by a strawberry cheesecake vape. The bar has also started accepting card payments (though the staff were not so amused as I kept relaying this to them). What hasn’t changed, though, is the Barrowlands’ uniquely raucous atmosphere, and the DMA’s put on a fitting performance for a venue truly like no other.